Alleged GoFundMe Fraud

[UPDATED] Hillbilly CAST IRON Cooking on Facebook is Cooking With GoFundMe Fraud

Hillbilly Cast Iron scam

Ed. note: this post has been updated to include more recent comments from the admin of the Hillbilly CAST IRON Cooking page, Jeff Shear. As we understand it, he has continued to refuse offers for completely free power chairs from people around the country.

Well hi there! We have an interesting one for you today, which only unfolded this afternoon.

Last night, I was alerted to the Hillbilly CAST Iron Cooking page on Facebook, which exists — or appears to exist — as a haven to cast iron cooking fans around the world. Nearly half a million of them, in fact. So far so good.

Recently, a GoFundMe page appeared among the cast iron recipes, causing fans to wonder what happened to the page admin? Note: no one seems to know who owns the page, and no mention of any health issues was made until the GoFundMe page made its debut, as we understand it. [Ed. note: it was later confirmed that the page belongs to Jeff Shear, who does in fact exist]

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You’ll note the broken English (my cat could probably write better than that), which isn’t always a red flag on its own based on the state of our public school systems but when other red flags exist, it’s certainly worth consideration.


Now, the evidence added up in the aggregate. For example, this is a popular spammer technique to get innocent people to share their link without even realizing they’re sharing it. See how it is hidden there above a call-to-action pic that many people can no doubt identify with? Scammer 101, you guys.

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Then we have this, which is another typical scammer trick to guilt people into donating. You’ll again note the horrible English which reads less like an American 3rd grade dropout and more like someone sitting in a Nigerian cybercafe for whom English is not a first language.

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Failing that, there’s always a little bit of total lack of awareness, such as the page sharing this.

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Being the generous, awesome person that I am (LOL), I took it upon myself to offer up a free chair from my (made up) uncle’s (made up) chair factory. You know, as an experiment. I have blurred names of others commenting on the post, that’s me the big sexy black bar.

cast iron scam

Within a matter of minutes, my comments were gone. And I’ve been blocked from the page.

So, while we like to give people the benefit of the doubt, we have every reason to believe this is a total scam. It’s possible the Hillbilly CAST IRON Cooking page was legitimate and has been hijacked by a scammer, but it’s also possible the page was created for the sole purpose of scamming people. It’s been active since 2013 though, three years seems like an awfully long time to cut and paste cast iron recipes only to share a measly $6000 GoFundMe page.


Please report the GoFundMe page as fraudulent. Mr Shear has been offered countless free power chairs, he continues to refuse them. We’re 99.9% sure he isn’t a Nigerian scammer at this point, which almost makes it worse in a way.

Be careful out there, y’all, not even cast iron is safe!


Update [June 2016]: We regret to pass along that Hillbilly CAST IRON Cooking page owner Jeff Shear’s 15-year-old son, Jeffrey Shear Jr, has died in an apparent suicide after throwing himself in front of a train. A separate GoFundMe campaign for his burial collected nearly $4000. In what should be a time of mourning, Shear is using the death to promote his GoFundMe page.


Update [December 2016]: After criticisms surrounding the vague, unintelligible language used in his original campaign description, it was rewritten by his surviving son Dylan.

Hillbilly Cast Iron scam

The elder Shear has pinned the GoFundMe campaign to the top of his Facebook page, and most recently went on an expletive-filled rant which has since been deleted from the page.

Hillbilly Cast Iron cooking scam

To date, he’s raised $675. He continues to block anyone who criticizes his campaign.




  1. Laura

    Report them on go fund me. Its a load of bs.

  2. Deb

    I just got blocked after I posted the link. I watched the site for a while today and it didn’t take long before anything negative was deleted. I did take a screen shot of the comments, but I don’t think I can post it here.

  3. Crystal

    Reported them again, I have been blocked from leaving comments on Hillbilly’s page, but I will check back occasionally if I see more begging posts.

  4. Lori

    Now he’s saying his son died yesterday because he didn’t have a new chair. What a scumbag.

    • Joetta berghman

      Check out the news paper in Osceola, Iowa……their som Jeff was kill when he walked in front of a train. There is 50 to 60 trains passing through this town daily…..or maybe you think the newspaper is a scam. One person started this scam rumor, now everyone is jumping on board without doing their own research.

      • gofraudme

        The son’s death has nothing to do with the fact that this guy has been trying to take advantage of his Facebook following for cash.

  5. Nikki

    His son we a kid actually did did in Osceola, Iowa in eastern iowa . idk if that’s actually his kid or not bit its on the web and some were saying it was all over the news.

    • Sondae

      There was A child that was killed by a train in Iowa. Not sure if his son or not. Police are investigating the death as a suicide.

  6. Lynn

    “Jeffrey Shear Jr., 15, stepped in front of a Burlington Northern Santa February (BNSF) train at Osceola’s train depot in the center of town.” Autopsy is today.

  7. Deb2

    Hillbilly CI page is still on. Many people have offered help but have apparently been ignored in a preference for cash. I don’t understand how FB doesn’t take the page down. I joined it a few years ago because I inherited some CI and wanted to use them. (I’m, now a big fan of CI cooking.) If you’re into CI cooking, I created a new Facebook page, Cast Iron Cooking Revival.

    • Was the page ever legit? I mean, he does post a lot of recipes, but it seemed like right around the time I called him out and he blocked me, he was spamming with all these REALLY bizarre recipes like alligator fritters and shit.

      I couldn’t believe that he actually tried to capitalize on his son’s suicide; that’s when I knew for sure he was a scum of the earth grifter.

      I will let my CI friends know about your page!

  8. Jonetta Adams

    LOL…..I have reported both his Fb page & Go Fund Me page…the loser has removed me from his cast iron page…please keep reporting both pages!!

  9. suzi eleanor moore

    He is still trying to scam removing all comments

  10. Tawnya Gardner

    I reported the go fund me page. I was once on his CI page too. I left because it had gone down to nothing but junk posts.

  11. I was removed for the same reason. He posted today telling everybody on Hillbilly in capital letter if they were go going to donate and get this done. People angry refusing to donate just to keep the Hillbilly page. Over 300 comments. He deleted it immediately when people were saying they were going to report him. Now he posted 2 days with another comment. There are a lot of angry members posting their comments that they are not don’t 1 red cent. I can see posts but I can’t comment. The proper authorities need to be notified of this scammer.

  12. Theresa Himes

    As of a few minutes ago the go fund me link wasn’t in his page. His son died, truth. But how sick to use that to get more money. My son died. I sure didnt go scam people even though I will spend the rest of my life honestly paying off his funeral.

    • PLB

      Has the CI page been shut down? Can’t access it.

      • I just tried to pull it up on my phone, it looks like he deactivated it. Or maybe enough people reported it after his latest tantrum that FB took it down?

  13. Molly

    Page is still up as of 3 AM EST, Jan 12, 2017….That’s how I found this! LOL!

    • Yeah looks like it came back shortly after it went down. He hadn’t deleted all the comments at that time, so I’m guessing he got reported to FB.

  14. Deb

    I was a member on this page. Got sick of the drama and left. Many people offered him support and a chair and he always refused. Am sorry about his real loss. I think the gentleman needs some attention maybe physically but definitely emotionally and psychologically. Folks just be aware.

  15. I started one yesterday. We’re growing fast!

  16. To all Hillbilly Cast Iron members. A lot of members came to our site and the Administrator is a former Hillbilly member who got removed as well. Administrator is Jim Anderson. Everyone is welcome.
    Sharing Cast Iron Only

  17. Craig H.

    Someone had questioned about why his campaign has taken so long to get any funds. I replied that he had received many offers directly for a chair but that he has refused them all. I can’t remember if I mentioned his claim to fame on this site or not. In any case, both her question and my response were removed and I’ve been blocked from leaving comments. I feel kind of honoured to be blocked from such an infamous individual. 😉

    It’s sad that despite the obvious, people are still supportive of the page. I was going to report the page but I find Facebook unwilling to do anything over serious issues; I had reported a page inciting others to murder a celebrity but their answer was that there was nothing wrong with it, and if I remember correctly, I was made out to be the bad one for reporting it.

  18. vernon

    Man y’all going about it all wrong. I’m gonna offer him one of our slick Canadian models made of birch skin, hockey sticks, beaver pelts and shaped like an Igloo . He gotta except that . You guys offering American he obviously wants a foreign model. Eh ! bahahhahaha Man that man is krey krey . Very sorry to hear about his son though . Suicide. especially that of a young teen is no joke.

  19. vernon

    If anything I gotta at least find out what the fraggle rock Hillbilly Cast Iron is . That in itself should be great Sunday morning entertainment . I’ll let y’all know if he wants his chair Made In Canada . Like I said maybe he just picky. hahaha

  20. vernon

    Update: His FB is gone as of Jan. 15th at 8:22 mountain time . His go fund me page is still up but I wasn’t able to comment as the option seems to be unavailable as well as viewing any updates . But the sharing and donating links work snippety snap. If anyone truly wants to help someone. His sons campaign is a just and legit cause. Don’t let captain krey krey hinder your willingness to help . Take care and always be careful who ya donate to and if you unclear the boss of everything at this site will help you figure it out . Thx A.G. for all your help .

  21. PLB

    The gofundme page is not showing now either so I’m assuming they shut him down.

  22. Brenda

    It appears that some of the same people from this page are now running a page call Cast Iron Cooking & BBQing. Admins BJ Binkly-Spears and Brandon Spears were once admins on the hillbilly cast iron page. BJ Spears went on a full caps lock rant on March 1 which gave former hillbilly cast iron page members flashbacks. Could these profiles be one in the same?

    • I was under the impression that Shear was the only admin on the old page (which, btw, is deleted now? Do you know if he deleted it or if Facebook did? I know after that last CAPS rant a lot of people reported it for abuse).

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